The Pick: Open Road Bicycles (openroadbicycles.com)
I’m pleased that the first of Pepper’s Picks is Open Road Bicycles. I’m pleased for a number of reasons. First, I love to find locally owned and operated stores and restaurants that do great work. Open Road certainly does that. I also love it when the culture of a company is to go above and beyond.
Last spring, my wife and I had our bikes stolen from our garage. Anyone who has experienced something like this knows how unsettling it can be to have something taken out of your garage while you sleep. After a few days of looking, checking with the police, scouring the neighborhood, I decided that it was time to replace my wife’s beach cruiser and then make a plan for replacing my road bike.
Open Road operates six locations in Jacksonville. I went to the Avondale location (3544 St. John’s Avenue). I was blown away by the lengths the staff went to for me. The easiest thing to do would have been for them to say, “yes, we’ll sell you a bike or two” and then take the money and go about their business. Instead, the staff offered to hunt down the lost purchase information on my wife’s bike (the beach cruiser had been purchased there several years earlier, before Holt Tucker, the current owner, took over).
After giving up hope of finding my wife’s bike, we discovered that the model was no longer available. The staff at Open Road did wonders to help me find a model that could replace the lost one. I was a little nervous, because I wasn’t sure what my wife would think of it, but the folks at Open Road were confident. When I rolled it out of of the garage, my wife’s face lit up. She loves it!
A couple of weeks later, I recovered my road bike. It was a wild circumstance that I won’t detail here, but it was clear that the bike had spent some time outside since it’s abduction. So back to Open Road I went. They got it cleaned up, tuned up and better than ever.
Open Road is a Specialized Bikes retailer. They have cruisers from a couple of hundred dollars to the high performance for the serious biker or triathlete. They know their bikes. Then again, that goes without saying. What sets them apart for me, is the service. It’s obvious that Open Road Bicycles puts customers first. That’s why they are the first to be Pepper’s Picks!
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